So there’s this man, “whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.”
Job is the story of a devout Jew named Job whose faith is tested by Satan. Job challenges God to explain “why the righteous suffer” and God answers:
“Who was it that built the earth again? Oh right, that was ME! I can do whatever I want, so shut your trap and deal with it! [I may have paraphrased God’s response, but it’s basically accurate.]
After which, Job sits silently, either giving up his demands for justice (the traditional interpretation) or giving up the expectation that God can be trusted to deliver justice.
Either case, God is clearly a douche bag and never reveals the true reason behind Job’s suffering (God’s gambling problem). A simple read of this story will reveal that Christians and Jews worship a complete asshole.
Let’s go through the story, shall we?
1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
1:7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
1:8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
And Satan goes, “Meh, he only worships you because you bless him with stuff.” And God (completely falling into Satan’s psychological trap) goes “Nuh uh, I’ll prove it to you.”
1:18 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:
1:19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
And God’s like, “see, told you he’d still worship me.” And Satan goes, “that was nothing, I bet if you cursed his flesh, he’d turn on you.” So God gives Satan his powers again and goes “do whatever, just don’t kill him.”
2:7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.
2:9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.
2:10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?
Job’s wife is the only one in this story so far with any brains. Job silences her and goes on a 6 chapter rant, cursing the day he was born and getting all Shakespearean/gothic about life.
10:4 Hast thou eyes of flesh? or seest thou as man seeth?
10:5 Are thy days as the days of man? are thy years as man’s days,
10:6 That thou enquirest after mine iniquity, and searchest after my sin?
10:7 Thou knowest that I am not wicked; and there is none that can deliver out of thine hand.
10:8 Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me.
10:9 Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again?
10:10 Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese?
10:11 Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews.
10:12 Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.
10:13 And these things hast thou hid in thine heart: I know that this is with thee.
10:14 If I sin, then thou markest me, and thou wilt not acquit me from mine iniquity.
10:15 If I be wicked, woe unto me; and if I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my head. I am full of confusion; therefore see thou mine affliction;
Job finally questions the nature of God and wonders aloud the same things that skeptics still wonder today.
Job is now visited by friends who try to comfort him:
- Eliphaz: Oldest and wisest of Job’s friends, he argues that he must deserve his new problems.
- Bildad: A friend of Job who argues that the cause of all these problems must be sin
- Zophar: A friend of Job who believes Yahweh is actually lenient
- Elihu: A friend of Job who argues that Yahweh deserves more credit and less blame
Finally, after 38 chapters of Job’s misery and wailing to the heavens, God shows up (in a whirlwind?):
38:6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
38:7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
38:8 Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?
38:9 When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,
38:10 And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,
38:11 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
38:12 Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;
38:13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?
38:21 Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great?
38:22 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
38:23 Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?
38:33 Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?
38:34 Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee?
38:35 Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go and say unto thee, Here we are?
…etc, etc. God goes on like this for pages sarcastically pointing out to Job that “I’m God and you’re not!”. Job gets the point and responds:
40:4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
God’s rant emphasizes his sovereignty in creating and maintaining the world. The thrust is not merely that God has experiences that Job does not, but that God is king over the world and is not necessarily subject to questions from his creatures, including men. The point of these rants is to proclaim the absolute freedom of God over His creation. God is not in need of the approval of his creation.
Sadly, it’s only the reader of the book who learns of God’s bet with Satan; Job himself remains unaware of the real reason for his sufferings.
In the epilogue, Job is restored to health, gaining double the riches he possessed before and having new children, 7 sons and 3 daughters (his wife did not die in this ordeal). His new daughters (Jemima, Keziah and Keren-Happuch) were the most beautiful in the land, and were given inheritance along with their brothers. Job is blessed once again and lives on another 140 years after the ordeal, living to see his children to the fourth generation and dying peacefully of old age.
As for Job’s previous family, who cares? They are easily replaced. After all, God can do whatever he wants and there’s nothing Job can do about it.
This is the Middle Eastern God which millions worship.